Sam and Sam Clarke (of Moro) describe these little morsels as “surprisingly complex”. When we first made them six months ago I was surprised. They do taste surprisingly complex. You need a good quality smoky Spanish paprika though. Sarah and I frequent Casa Iberica on Johnston Street in Fitzroy for our paprika, Portuguese Tarts and anything Spanish-Portuguese. Chorizo anyone? Get the paprika in the pretty tin. Looks good, tastes excellent. And the salt is just as important. Did Sarah and I mention how much we love salt? Our friend Emilio once proclaimed, “Salt is life.” These nuts need to be perfectly salty, and Maldon sea salt, it’s nice to be home, I’ve missed you. They’ll be scoffed by the handful.
This recipe can be adapted to taste very easily. We think the paprika is always important, but add spices depending on the vibe of your evening. Dry roast whole coriander seeds and pound in a mortar and pestle and add, or maybe some cumin. Try a mix of your favourite flavours.
We nibbled these with icy beers on a hot afternoon. We sat under the apricot and plum trees in dappled light, discussing their burgeoning produce like farmers. I don’t know why the apricots are a bit late – they’re still green – but they are. There will be no apricot jam as Christmas presents this year. Though maybe they’ll blush in time? But there will be many, many drinks and salty spiced nuts.
Roast Almonds with Paprika
(From Moro – The Cookbook, Sam and Sam Clarke)
250g whole blanched almonds
1 tsp olive oil
1 tsp smoked sweet Spanish paprika
1 ½ tsp sea salt (preferably Maldon), ground to a powder as fine as icing sugar
Preheat the oven to 150C
Place the almonds on a baking tray and dry-roast in the top of the oven for about 25 minutes or until golden brown. Remove and stir in the olive oil, paprika and salt. Return to the oven for another couple of minutes.
Remove and cool before eating.